Having your house or cleaned is something really quite personal; you are letting someone into your home, after all, and this can be a nerve-racking experience if you’re doing it for the first time. If you’re in the short-term rental or Airbnb game, then there can also be some pretty bad consequences and charges associated with bringing on the wrong cleaning company to help you out.
All customers will have different requirements and/or preferences, and service providers have their own respective specialities, and maybe even weaknesses.
Housekeep, London’s market leader in home cleaning, has teamed up with Guardhog to bring you a comprehensive guide to picking the right cleaning service for your needs. Here goes…
Cleaning may sound pretty universal, but the industry is actually a lot more varied than people often assume. If you don’t think about what exactly it is that you’re looking for in a service, you could find yourself signing up to something that was never going to deliver what you wanted or needed.
You’ll need to be considering a whole host of factors, not least including:
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can then head to the FAQ page of the businesses you’re considering using, or reach out to their customer service to double-check that they offer what you’re looking for. Most businesses will have a ‘services’ page which runs through what’s usually included but do always reach out if in doubt.
It may sound obvious but, when you’re about to commit to an arrangement, it’s essential that you conduct a little market research before jumping in at the deep end. In the tech-first world we live in, this is easier than ever; with Yelp, Google Reviews and Trustpilot all a few key-strokes away, there’s really no excuse for skipping this step.
There are a few caveats to this, and you should always take online reviews with a pinch of salt. The nature of online reviews means that they may tend toward the negative, as there’s often much less motivation to report successful transactions. That being said, this is a challenge all businesses face, so comparing different services’ online reviews is still a valuable exercise.
It’s always a good idea to reach out to people that you know who may already have a cleaner, too. Not only can they share their own experience with you, but they may be able to offer you a referral discount or similar! Asking friends & family who have similar requirements to you is particularly helpful, as you know the feedback is based upon the criteria that matters most to you.
Not only do cleaning companies often have very different offerings, but they also tend to span a wide range of prices. For domestic cleaning, you can end up paying anything from £10/hour right up to £20-25 per hour, so it’s important to consider what bang you’re getting for your buck!
The least expensive option is usually to secure services from a local independent cleaner, and this usually costs around £10-12/hour in London. This can be a real undertaking though, with the onus being on you to vet & interview your cleaner and check they’re right for you. Once they’re hired, you will then be left with the responsibility of providing guidance and feedback. Many people find this a somewhat awkward dynamic, and we’ve heard stories about customers putting up with substandard work from their independent cleaner for a long time, out of fear of providing honest feedback or upsetting them! You’re also unlikely to get any sort of accidental damage protection with an independent cleaner or have the ability to easily organise cover cleans for dates they are away.
Paying the premium to go with a service tends to be worth it, in our opinion. The initial work of hiring, vetting & interviewing is all taken care of, and there are channels to offer constructive feedback or, in the worst-case scenario, to complain. Most service providers also have an accidental damage policy that can offer you some peace of mind for the worst-case scenario! In any case, it’s still best to make sure that you’re covered by a full insurance policy for your property, like those provided by GUARDHOG.
Once you’ve chosen the service that you think is right for you, you’ll want to consider the necessary commitment to get booked in.
Here, you should be looking out for cancellation charges and minimum contract lengths, in particular. Some services will charge you the remaining contract spend if you want to leave early, while others have a set ‘buy out fee’ if you commit to regular cleans and then try to leave. Here at Housekeep, we’re confident that you’ll want to stay with the service, so there’s no minimum contract, and you can cancel your regular cleans without charge. In honesty, we can’t help but be a little suspicious about services who do it any other way!
In short, when it comes to choosing a cleaning service, it’s really about research and requirements.
Not all cleaning companies offer the same level of service, and they often have different fortes. Make sure to talk to your friends who hire cleaners, and read online reviews to get a gauge of the quality and reliability of each company you’re considering.
Once you’ve made the decision about where to go, be careful to check the contract you’re entering, particularly with regard to the minimum number of cleans, and cancellation costs.
If you’re London-based and looking for a new cleaning service, head to housekeep.com/guardhog for more information about how you could get started - we’ll even give you your first clean for £15!
This article was written by Henry Paterson, Operations Executive at HouseKeep